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U.S. Army Social Media Best Practices

U.S. Army Social Media Best Practices - Online and Social...

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Online and Social Media Division 6/15/09 1 Social Media Best Practices (Tactics, Techniques, Procedures) The Internet has changed the way we communicate. Increasingly, individuals are looking to the web as their primary source of news and information. As an Army, we have an obligation to tell our story in the spaces and places where our community is already engaging. The following pages outline basic best practices guidelines to consider when choosing to implement social media strategies as a part of our public affairs mission. This is by no means a comprehensive break-down, and we encourage you to look to the Web for more resources and information about engaging in the social media sphere. Background: The Basics: What is the policy? There are no policies which directly refer to the use of the major social networking sites such as Facebook, Flickr, You Tube, etc. As regulation currently stands, it is important for Soldiers as well as public affairs professionals to remember the two guiding documents that apply to all public communication: Operations Security and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. As regulation is written, Soldiers must maintain professional conduct and good order and discipline in the virtual world in the same ways they would in the real world. Special care should be taken to ensure that public facing profiles, to include Facebook pages and sites, present an appropriate picture of Army life. AR 530-1, Operations Security policy, states that Soldiers who blog and identify their affiliation with the Army must let their commander know they’re blogging. What do I need to know before I get started? Planning/Strategy : Have a plan, and think strategically. Think about each platform before you decide to establish a profile and ensure it meets the needs of your organization. Just because the sites are out there doesn’t mean your organization needs to be on all of them. Manpower: Will you have the resources to manage and maintain the sites? If you can’t commit to updating your social media sites at least once per week, or providing enough new content to keep users coming back, that platform is probably not a good idea for your organization. Messaging : Social media is all about taking your identity or messaging and turning over control to your community. A Facebook wall and a Flickr comments stream are places for positive comments, as well as negative ones. If you’re not willing to lose control of the message, and give some of the power to your community, social media is not for you. Once you get started: Engage your community through posts and content that solicits feedback. A blog without a comments section isn’t a blog: it’s a message board. A You Tube channel without any views isn’t an effective outreach platform. Once you begin engaging, evaluate what works and what doesn’t, and don’t hesitate to adjust fire and change course.
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Online and Social Media Division 6/15/09 2 Basic social computing guidelines for Soldiers, Army Civilians and Army staff to consider:
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U.S. Army Social Media Best Practices - Online and Social...

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